ROCHESTER, NY – Head Coach Wayne Wilson is proud to announce the RIT men’s hockey Class of 2022. Seven first-year student-athletes—which includes five forwards and two defensemen—will join the current squad. RIT has won two of the last four Atlantic Hockey Conference Championships.
“This a very strong group of newcomers,” said Wilson, who enters his 20th season behind the bench at RIT in 2018-19. “We expect them to come in and earn playing time and push our returners to get better and make us a better team this season.”
Forwards Will Calverley (Scarborough, Ontario/Chilliwack Chiefs), Jake Joffe (Toronto, Ontario/Toronto Jr. Canadiens), Merritt Oszytko (Edmonton, Alberta/Fort McMurray Oil Barons), Andrew Petrucci (Toronto, Ontario/Toronto Patriots) and Kobe Walker (Lloydminster, Alberta/Lloydminster Bobcats) add speed and skill to a deep group of returners. All five newcomers will look to step into the lineup and make significant contributions.
Calverley arrives at RIT after earning Most Valuable Player honors while leading the Chilliwack Chiefs of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) to the 2018 Royal Bank Cup Championship. He scored all four Chilliwack goals, including the overtime game-winner in a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Jr. Senators in a crucial RBC Cup contest. Calverley, who served as team captain, led Chilliwack in scoring during the 2017-18 regular season with 46 points on 18 goals and 28 assists in 55 games. Before heading to the BCHL, he captained Toronto to a TELUS Cup as Canadian National Midget Team in 2015-16.
“Will is a complete player who plays hard, is good on face-offs and can be counted on to play every role,” said RIT Associate Head Coach Brian Hills. “He competes really well and reminds us of (former All-American) Matt Garbowsky.”
Joffe, who stands 5-foot-10, played the last three seasons with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and was an assistant captain. He led the Jr. Canadiens and was tied for ninth in the league in scoring during the 2017-18 season with 67 points on 32 goals and 35 assists. Joffe was tied for third with six game-winning goals and had 21 multiple-point games. He recorded 134 points on 63 goals and 71 assists in 158 games over three OJHL seasons. Joffe also teamed with fellow RIT newcomer Calverley to win the TELUS Cup as Canadian National Midget Team in 2015-16.
“Jake is a really smart player who sees the ice well,” said Hills. “He is a very good playmaker who put up great numbers in juniors.”
Oszytko played the last three seasons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) for the Sherwood Park Crusaders and Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Overall, Oszytko recorded 57 points on 24 goals and 33 assists in 56 games between the two teams in 2017-18. He added five power-play goals, five game-winning goals and two shorthanded tallies, while recording 18 multiple-point efforts. Oszytko, who stands 6-foot-2, recorded 47 goals, 69 assists and 116 points over 152 games in three AJHL seasons.
“Merritt is a good 200-foot player who will contribute in a number of ways,” said Wilson. “He has good vision, great speed and will continue to get better as he physically matures.”
Petrucci enjoyed an incredible 2017-18 season, earning Ontario Hockey Association Player of the Year and Ontario Junior Hockey League Most Valuable Player honors as a member of the Toronto Patriots. He led the league in scoring with 52 goals and 100 points in 54 games and had at least one point in 45 contests. Petrucci also led the league with 22 power-play goals and nine game-winning tallies while leading Toronto to a league-best 40-8-3-3 record. Overall, Petrucci, who stands 6-foot-1, tallied 183 points on 91 goals and 92 assists in 145 regular season games over three seasons.
“Andrew can play both wing and center, is a smart player and good skater, and we are hoping he can be a big part of our offensive production right away,” said RIT Assistant Coach Dave Insalaco.
Walker, a 5-foot-9 forward, played the last two seasons with the Lloydminster Bobcats of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). He led Lloydminster and was tied for 10th in the AJHL in scoring with 67 points on 30 goals and 37 assists in 60 games. In addition, Walker added nine power-play goals and three game-winning tallies. He was the 2017-18 Lloydminster Fan Favorite Award winner and team Most Valuable Player and helped lead the Bobcats to the 2017-18 Provincial and Pacific Cup Championships.
“Kobe is strong skater who competes well and is not afraid to go to the net to score and make plays,” said Hills.
The duo of Spencer Berry (White Rock, British Columbia/Langley Rivermen) and Zach Salloum (Orleans, Ontario/Ottawa Jr. Senators) adds great mobility and skill to a defensive unit that helped allow just 26.8 shots on goal per game last season.
Berry, who stands 6-foot-2, played the last three seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) with the Langley Rivermen. He had 23 points on three goals and 20 assists in 56 games during the 2017-18 season. Berry had 32 points in 112 games over three seasons.
“Spencer has good size, is a strong skater and moves the puck well,” said Insalaco. “He put up good numbers despite limited power-play time and was always matched up against the opponents top players. He has the potential to be a good two-way defenseman.”
Salloum, a 5-foot-9 rearguard, played the last five seasons in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL). He split the 2017-18 season with the Navan Grads and Ottawa Jr. Senators and helped lead Ottawa to the 2017-18 CCHL and Fred Page Cup Championships. Salloum recorded 49 points on 12 goals and 37 assists in 44 games in 2017-18 and added 11 points in 13 postseason contests. He led all CCHL defensemen in scoring during both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and earned All-CCHL First Team All-Star honors in 2016-17. In addition, he was an All-CCHL Second Team All-Star in 2015-16 and 2017-18. Salloum recorded 201 points on 46 goals and 155 assists in 264 regular season contests in his CCHL career.
“Zach is a dynamic offensive defenseman who enjoyed a tremendous career in juniors,” said Insalaco. “He has really good hockey sense and decision-making skills with the puck. We are looking for him to facilitate offense on the power-play and off the rush.”
The Tigers begin the 2018-19 season on Oct. 6 with an exhibition contest against Brock University. RIT opens the regular season at UMass Lowell on Oct. 12-13 and hosts Colgate University on Oct. 20 at Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester as part of the university’s Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend.